Forest Grove graduate Katy Brosig hopes to lead Linfield on another NCAA title quest

by: COURTESY PHOTO: KELLY BIRD/LINFIELD ATHLETICS - Forest Grove grad Katy Brosig is enjoying a career year for the nationally-ranked Linfield softball team with a .453 batting average.

Katy Brosig has quite a knack for starting out on high notes.

Now she is trying to end on one.

A 2010 Forest Grove graduate, Brosig is a shortstop on the high-powered Linfield softball team. Twice as a freshman, she had the knack for being on the right team at the right time.

In her inaugural year at Forest Grove, she helped the Vikings claim their only softball state title with an extra-innings triumph against Central Catholic in the Class 6A title game.

Four years later as a freshman at Linfield, she saw significant playing time on a dynamite Wildcats team that went 51-3 and rolled to the 2011 NCAA Division III championship, claiming the second national title in program history.

Those teams’ accomplishments are high bars to establish so early in a career, something even Brosig admits.

“It’s kind of hard to start out your freshman year with success and then have to fight every year to try to match it,” she said. “And it’s really hard to match something like that.

“That’s kind of how it was at college. The moment we stepped on this campus, the softball conversation was, ‘We’re getting to nationals and we’re winning.’ That was the expectation.”

Brosig is doing her best to also make her senior season a great one, both for herself and her team, which she helped claim an 11th consecutive Northwest Conference title earlier this week. And from an individual standpoint, with just four regular-season games to go, she certainly is turning in what has been, statistically speaking, her best year in a Linfield uniform.

Heading into Saturday’s Senior Day games against Willamette, Brosig has started every game for the No. 8 Wildcats (28-6) and leads the squad with a .453 batting average. That is more than 100 points higher than her previous season best and would land her in the single-season top 10 list at Linfield should Brosig hold onto it. That average is well above the .242 mark she posted last season.

“This year ... the softball gods are on her side, and instead of hitting balls hard at people, she’s hitting balls in the holes now, and she’s finding holes,” said Ashley Garcia, a senior teammate who has played both with and against Brosig since the two players were kids.

Brosig also has already topped her previous career highs for a single season for runs (31) and hits (48). Should the Wildcats make another deep postseason run, she could well add quite a bit to her totals.

“I just wanted to finish out strong, so it’s just wonderful,” said Brosig, a two-time honorable mention all-NWC pick. “I just feel calmer. I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be, so when I’m up to bat, I just feel comfortable and just really confident.”

Brosig has also been a rock in the middle infield, contributing 38 putouts and 67 assists.

“Katy’s a very good communicator on the field,” Garcia said. “She’s very good at directing traffic and making sure that things don’t get haywire even when things are pretty chaotic on the infield. She generally keeps herself very calm, which in turn keeps most of the other people on the field very calm.”

Brosig’s senior success has come during an incredibly busy final semester at Linfield, a time that she describes as a “crazy-fun whirlwind.” The senior is a math major and an education and Spanish minor. She will graduate with a teaching certificate and be eligible to teach both math and Spanish.

So not only is Brosig busy with softball right now, but she is also teaching those two subjects full-time at McMinnville High School, dashing to softball practice a tad late each day when school lets out and working with her McMinnville teachers to coordinate her absences when Linfield hits the road.

“It’s the two things that I love to do most, so it’s not hard to be invested in both of them,” Brosig said.

While the end of that whirlwind is not yet quite here, it is getting closer.

A victory in the upcoming Northwest Conference tournament would guarantee Brosig and the Wildcats an automatic berth into an NCAA regional. Berths in a super regional and the national finals are also potentially on the horizon, should the team keep winning. A trip to the national finals in Tyler, Texas, would overlap with Brosig’s birthday in late May.

That would be one great birthday-slash-graduation present.

“Our team goal is to get back to nationals and compete for a national championship,” Brosig said. “That’s spoken of and definitely something that we fight for every day.”

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